It’s time to freshen up your brand (and there’s a right way to do it)

Robin Emiliani  /  May 28, 2020

Just before the virus yeeted us all out of our normal lives and into the spacious homes that now feel about two -inches squared, Oracle did a brand refresh.

A new website. New colors. New background art. A shorter, more streamlined homepage.

The new design came with a new brand mission statement, announced at their 2019 event—to help people see data in new ways, discover insights, unlock endless possibilities.

The mission statement is nice (though, let’s be honest: “discover insights” could mean too many things to be truly useful here and “unlock endless possibilities” is inspirational nonsense).

But the redesign? The muddy colors and busy backgrounds, the lack of contrast, and complete erasure of helpful calls to action? I hate every sullen, depressing inch of it.

freshen up your brand Oracle

New site: muddy, divided.

Oracle old website freshen up your brand

Old site: simple, clear, bright, easy to navigate.

To be fair, despite their all-seeing brand name, Oracle couldn’t have predicted that their refresh would come a few months before a rather depressing time in history. They couldn’t have known how much we’d need brightness, warmth, and hope.

But being as we’re in the future now, the rest of us can.

We know that two thirds of Americans report feeling nervous, depressed, lonely, or hopeless at least once a week right now, and 20% say they feel that way at least three days a week.

We know that an estimated 40 million jobs disappeared seemingly overnight.

And importantly for marketers, we know that 70% of consumers (as polled by Twitter) said brands should boost positive stories.

People, in other words, need hope, inspiration, and a sense of normalcy. In the stories we tell, the way we communicate, and—not least of all—our brand designs.

Which is why now is a great time for a brand refresh with those things in mind.

Are your websites, microsites, email templates, and other brand materials positive and hopeful? Have your designers embraced color theory and given you a brand that comforts and delights?

Is your messaging as clear as it can be? Because stress (which is through the roof for many right now) kills focus and amps up forgetfulness. Plain language and clear messages are always important, but right now, they’re doubly so. If your brand messages are hard to read, now more than ever: your customers aren’t picking up what you’re putting down.

We’ve said it before and it’s worth saying again: research shows that brands that stay the course with marketing during a recession will outpace the competition. Which is why it’s time to revisit your brand with the new normal in mind.

One brand that’s knocking the happiness factor out of the park right now? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s Adobe, with their bright reds and pink-pinks, their simple language, and their clear calls to action.

So, if you need some inspiration, their marketing materials are a good place to start.

And if you need more than inspiration? Our team is here to help, with experts in everything from strategy to content to design. Reach out anytime.


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